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It only takes the blink of an eye for things to go wrong on the road. A distracted, drunk, or drowsy driver can quickly veer into oncoming traffic, fail to stop for slowed traffic or pedestrians, and neglect to yield to other vehicles when turning left. While any type of car accident can leave a trail of devastation in its wake, those involving semi-trucks can be especially catastrophic, oftentimes leaving victims with serious injuries that can be life altering.

Sadly, these truck accident victims usually have a long, hard road to recovery ahead of them. They often experience tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering, and the financial damages that arise from unexpected medical expenses and lost wages can threat ruin. Fortunately, truck accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their damages if they can prove that a trucker’s negligence caused their injuries and losses, but recovering the full extent of one’s damages from a trucker can be tricky. This is why it is wise to also consider whether a vicarious liability claim is warranted.

Vicarious liability is a legal theory that holds that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of its employees. Before vicarious liability can be imposed, a victim must show that the employee, in this case a trucker, was performing his job duties at the time of the accident in question and was otherwise operating within the scope of his employment. If the employee was operating outside the scope of his employment, such as deviating from his trucking route to visit a friend, then an employer will likely be able to defeat a vicarious liability claim.

A vicarious liability claim can be quite powerful. Those who are able to succeed on them are much more likely to recover the compensation they need in order to focus on their recovery and set their life back on track. Yet, trucking companies and their teams of attorneys often hotly contest these claims, which is why truck accident victims need to be prepared to approach these claims with competent aggression. The good news is that skilled legal professionals know how to do just that and stand ready to help.